Showing posts with label Russian Army.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Russian Army.. Show all posts

September 17, 2015

US Ponders Putin’s Intentions in Syria



                                                                     
Russian troop and  Cargo plane landing at Latakia Airport (afp picture)


US Secretary of State John Kerry has called his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a bid to clarify the intent of Moscow's military build-up in Syria.
Mr Kerry warned that continued support for President Bashar al-Assad “risks exacerbating and extending the conflict," a statement said.

The US accuses Russia of boosting its military presence in Syria.
Russia - Mr Assad’s ally in the four-year civil war - says it is helping Syria fight Islamic State militants.

Moscow has increased its presence in the country just as the regime is losing ground to rebel groups.
Mr Kerry's phone call to the Russian foreign minister is believed to be his third in the past 10 days.
The state department statement said Mr Kerry warned that Russia's support for President Assad was "undermining our shared goal of fighting extremism if we do not also remain focused on finding a solution to the conflict in Syria via a genuine political transition".
"Secretary Kerry also reaffirmed the US commitment to fight ISIL (Islamic State) with a coalition of more than 60 countries, of which Assad could never be a credible member, and emphasised the US would welcome a constructive Russian role in counter-ISIL efforts."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest described Moscow’s support for President Assad as "a losing bet".

Satellite image allegedly showing construction at Latakia's airportImage copyrightStratfor
Image caption
This satellite image - taken on 4 September 2015 - allegedly shows construction at Latakia's airport
Analysis: Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence correspondent
Russia’s backing for Mr Assad should be seen not as a vote of confidence in Syria's embattled president but as an investment in a country where Russia believes it can play out its foreign-policy role.

Indeed Mr Putin's military deployments signal that he will not let the Assad regime fall. This does not mean Mr Assad will be there forever.

Russian diplomacy is working in tandem with its military policy, exploring all avenues for reaching some sort of interim deal in which Mr Assad might stay on, at least for the time being.
But Russia's horizons in Syria probably extend well beyond Mr Assad's active presence - a reflection of Russia's concerns about militant Islam and wider trends in the region, and also its belief that Western remedies in the Middle East have been an unmitigated disaster.
The Russian foreign ministry said that during the call Mr Lavrov again stressed “the need to form a united front" to fight terrorist groups in Syria.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged continued military support for President Assad and urged other countries to join Russia in sending "military-technical assistance".
He said the flow of refugees to Europe would have been “even bigger" without Russian support for Syria's government.

President Putin said on Tuesday: "We support the government of Syria… in countering the terrorist aggression. We provide and will continue to provide it with the necessary military technical assistance. And we urge other countries to join us.”

A Pentagon spokesman said on Monday that a steady flow of people and equipment near the north-western city of Latakia suggested Moscow was planning to establish a “forward air operating base" at an airport there.

Last week, officials in Washington quoted by Reuters said Moscow had sent more aircraft and two tank landing ships to Russia's naval base in the Syrian coastal city of Tartus.
The war between President Assad’s regime and various rebel groups has so far killed at least 240,000 people and displaced millions.

This posting appeared today on
 BBC

September 14, 2015

Russia Expands Airport in Syria for their Planes Going Against Decades of American Objection




 A group monitoring the conflict in Syria says Russian forces are expanding a major airport in Latakia province. Russia has reiterated its support for the Syrian regime, but denies it is staging a military build-up.
                 


Russian ship in Tartus

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that Russian forces were working to extend an airstrip near a military airport in Latakia province, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his minority Alawite sect.

"Russian forces are building a long runway capable of accommodating large aircraft near the Hemeimeem military airport in Latakia province," the Observatory said, adding that hundreds of Russian technicians and military advisers had been brought to the site.
It also reported that the Russians were “preventing Syrians, whether military or civilian, from entering the area where they are building the runway."

The Hemeimeem airport, which houses a military base, is the second most important government-controlled airport after Damascus airport. It has come under shelling from rebel militants as they advance through the region.

The Observatory's director, Rami Abdurrahman, said sources had also reported that Russia was extending the Hamadiyeh airport in Tartus province, another regime stronghold, where Russia has a naval facility (photo above).
The Observatory bases its reports on a network of civilian, military and medical sources inside Syria.
Washington’s fears

The claims come as US officials increasingly voice concerns that Russia is stepping up its military activities within the country, with President Barack Obama warning Moscow against propping up Assad.
Washington says Russian aid is helping Assad avoid negotiating a political solution to the conflict.


Russian planes in Latakia
. Alexey Kudenko/RIA Novosti                                                             


Russian planes in Latakia
. Alexey Kudenko/RIA Novosti

Russia is reported to have sent humanitarian aid to Syria on Saturday
Moscow, a longtime Assad ally, has freely admitted its support for the Syrian government, but denies any claims of a military build-up in the country, saying it is simply taking part in international efforts to combat the jihadist group “Islamic State" ("IS), which has made large territorial gains in both Syria and Iraq.

Continued Russian help

On Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would continue to back Assad's regime in "its efforts to fight terrorism."
He also criticized the West for refusing to cooperate with Syrian forces in the fight against "IS," calling the government armed forces "the most efficient military force in the country."
Syria has been embroiled for more than four years in a civil conflict that began with anti-government protests in March 2011. More than 250,000 people have been killed in the violence, which has seen the government lose considerable swathes of territory to rebels and various jihadist groups such as "IS."
tj/rc (AP, AFP, dpa)
dw.com

July 19, 2015

Russia’s Military Upgrade Hits a Snag, Putin Not a Happy Man




Russian Military Parade AP/Ivan Sekretarev 
Russia's military spending is getting out of control.
The Kremlin has been in the middle of an intense military build up over the last few months against the backdrop of a deteriorating economy.
Even with the Kremlin's revised budget plan in April (which assumes an average exchange rate of 61.5 rubles to the dollar), Russia is spending more on its military than it can afford to, according to Russian economist and former rector of the New Economic School in Moscow Sergei Guriev
Guriev points out that recently published budget data for the first three months of 2015 shows that although nondefense spending was at 16.5% of the quarterly GDP as planned, military expenditure was more than double the budgeted amount at over 9% of the quarterly GDP.
"In other words, Russia has already spent more than half of its total military budget for 2015. At this rate, its reserve fund will be emptied before the end of the year," Guriev writes.
T-90 Russian Tank
Russian T-90 battle tank.
Money for Russia's budget is coming out of the Kremlin's rainy day reserve fund, which is technically designed to soften the blow of economic setbacks.
The ongoing Western sanctions prevent Russia from borrowing on the global markets, so Moscow has had to tap into this fund to finance its deficit, which has increased to 3.7% from 0.5% of GDP following lower oil prices and the economic contraction, according to Guriev.
In the best case scenario, according to Guriev,  ussia can maintain a 3.7% deficit for less than two years before it either has to withdraw from Ukraine to gain relief from Western sanctions, or undertake a major — and for Putin, politically dangerous — fiscal adjustment."
  more than twice the budgeted amount on military in the first quarter, according to Guriev.
"Russia simply cannot sustain the allocation of such a large share of its budget to defense spending. Moreover, its defense industry lacks the capacity to produce modern equipment as quickly as the plan anticipated,” he adds.
Since 2011, there’s been debate in the Kremlin about whether Russia should increase military spending, which ended with then finance minister Alexei Kudrin (who was against increased spending) spending, which ended with then finance minister Alexei Kudrin (who was against increased spending) getting sacked. 
kudrin putin
Russia’s then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin in Moscow February 28, 2011.
"Against this background, Russia's recent military spending binge is all the more notable for it suggests that the government, desperate to retain popular support amid declining economic performance, is less interested in investing in the most modern equipment than in showing its support for the rebels in eastern Ukraine, even at the price of further economic hardship," writes Guriev.
"If Russia could not afford a 4%-of-GDP defense budget in good times, it cannot possibly manage such a high rate of military spending now, when it confronts rock-bottom oil prices, Western sanctions, and economic recession."
businessinsider.com 

May 16, 2015

The New Most Advance Russian Tank (Yugo) Stalls in Front of Reviewing Stand


                                                    


 The Armata Stalls as is passing the reviewing stand  where Putin was seating

 The Russian army’s new tank–designed to be “superior to the West”–is looking more like the infamous Soviet-era car, the Yugo.

The T-14 Armata made its second public appearance ever during a Victory Day parade–but, right as it rolled through Moscow’s iconic Red Square, in front of Vladimir Lenin’s mausoleum, it stalled.

Better during a public parade than an invasion of Ukraine?
Pulling it with another Tank didn’t work either
   
Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defense minister, apparently ran up to the tank to figure out what happened to the shiny new piece of Russian defense. Shortly after, servicemen tried to hook the tank up to another military vehicle for a tow–which also didn’t work.

The tank, left stranded in the middle of the very public Red Square during a parade for a good fifteen minutes, was finally moved after Alexei Zharich, a director from its manufacturer, took charge of the situation.
“[The crew’s] training is still continuing,” he justified later, via Twitter, as if a user error was the problem.

But apparently that Tweet didn’t toe the official Kremlin stance–Zharich quickly deleted it and replaced it with the even-less-truthful, “The Armata is fully operational and left under its own steam.”

This embarrassment isn’t unprecedented–apparently, an anonymous military source to a Russian news website that the Armata had broken down twice during practice runs for the Victory Day parade.

The T-14 Armata is supposed to be Russia’s new go-to battle “combat platform,” with more than 2,300 joining the army by 2020.

There’s no word on whether or not Putin has also put in an order for 2,300 new tow trucks.

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